In Harris v. Quinn, Justice Alito draws light to the oddity that was William O. Douglas. In Machinists v. Street (1961), Justice Douglas joined an opinion he didn’t agree with so it had 5 votes.
Although I recognize the strength of the arguments advanced by my Brothers BLACK and WHITTAKER against giving a “proportional” relief to appellees in this case, there is the practical problem of mustering five Justices for a judgment in this case. Cf. Screws v. United States,325 U. S. 91, 325 U. S. 134. So I have concluded dubitante to agree to the one suggested by MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN, on the understanding that all relief granted will be confined to the six protesting employees.
Justice Alito commented:
Only four Justices fully agreed with this approach, but a fifth, Jus tice Douglas, went along due to “the practical problem of mustering five Justices for a judgment in this case.” Id., at 778–779 (concurring opinion).